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Watson, John B. (1878–1958)

  1. Staff

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy1032

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Staff 2010. Watson, John B. (1878–1958). Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1.

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


John B. Watson grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, and matriculated at nearby Furman University at age 16. He graduated from Furman and earned a master's degree by age 21. He then was a school principal for one year before entering graduate school at the University of Chicago to study with the functionalists, Dewey and Angell, along with other Chicago faculty. He soon became interested in the Russian conditioning studies of Sechenov, Bekhterev, and Pavlov, and he gravitated to the study of behavior rather than the “functions” of the mind. He stayed at Chicago for several years and continued his studies of animal behavior. While at Chicago, he married Mary Ickes (sister of future Secretary of the Interior, Harold Ickes). In 1907, Watson was hired as an Associate Professor at Johns Hopkins University.